When we are out on event we display a sign or tell people proudly that we are a family run business. I have often wondered why this is so appealing to our customers. I have come to the conclusion that they like to hear the story of how we got started and they like to know that they are buying from people with a true passion for their product.
Many big changes in life rarely come from long, detailed planning, but more often through the twists and turns of adversity. For Andrew and I the beginning of our business was built out of such adversity - we experienced family illness which resulted in no longer being able to continue in a chosen profession, followed by the stress of successive redundancies. Over the last 10 years we have worked hard as a family to create our slice of success within the baking industry.
We often joke that Andrew has become ‘the face of Gourmet Brownie’. You will meet him out and about selling at events, wearing his trusty Australian outback hat and always with a smile. Once back at the ranch he works hard to look after all our retail customers and ensures that the technical side of the business runs smoothly.
In the early days of the business I was the main baker, now the business has grown to such an extent, we have an excellent Kitchen Manager who bakes the majority of our product. This gives me time to research and develop recipes and new flavour combinations. I also spend much of my time in the world of photography, websites and social media.
Lucy our daughter is 14, and being financially savvy has started to understand the benefits of being a part of the family business ... she has helped create new recipes, and in the holidays she works hard alongside our team at the commercial kitchen, packing product and unwrapping chocolates !!
Our parents have been an amazing support to us since the early days, they have always been our biggest fans, but more importantly they have been there in all the ups and downs of business, with a listening ear and wise words.
My parents live closer to us than Andrew’s, and so they are able to help us on a regular basis; shopping for ingredients, helping at events, doing deliveries and my dads most favourite role... taste testing new flavours.
Alongside family we also have some friends that are so close and supportive they come under the family category. They have been there from the beginning putting their hand to anything that needs doing to support us ...... bringing meals, washing up, packaging product, you name it they are always happy to help.
So, without our close knit family and friends, I am not sure Andrew and I would be where we are now. Having people who want the very best for us, and will help in any way they can, has been invaluable. Our family being there to listen and support in the good times is wonderful, but it is even more wonderful that they will walk with you through the harder and more challenging times.
Running a family business is hard work but can be very rewarding.
Some of our favourite family businesses - pop over to take a look at their amazing products on instagram.
Breckland Orchard Posh Pops ( @brecklandorchard )
If you haven’t tasted their ‘Posh Pops’ you need to. They will take you back to your childhood in a simple sip, creating the old fashioned favourites beautifully - my favourite being the Rhubarb & Cherry.
Joe & Seph’s Popcorn ( @joeandseph )
I adore popcorn and the range of flavours that you can try is astonishing, from the familiar flavours to the more adventurous combinations. We also love to use their delicious sauces in our Gourmet brownie recipes.